House Hunting – and the fun begins! Whether you’re conducting a property search online, hitting open houses or searching with an AGENT, hunting for your dream house or unit is both a science and an art. Here’s what’s involved:
STEP1: DEVELOP YOUR WISH LIST
Knowing what you need and want in your home is critical when it comes to house hunting. What are your must-haves, your nice-to-haves, and your no-way-absolutely-nots? How many bedrooms do you need? What kind of outdoor space do you want? What about counter-tops, appliances and floors? You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what you want. Of course, location will be a big decision – which Hervey Bay suburb makes you feel at home? Check out our Hervey Bay Suburb Guides for some insider scoop on Hervey Bay’s hottest suburbs and make sure to read up on the Best Hervey Bay Suburbs for Return on Investment and the Best Hervey Bay Suburbs for First-Time Buyers.
Of course in a hot market like Hervey Bay’s, compromise is a big part of the house hunting process. Almost everyone needs to compromise on something, and it usually comes down to 4 things: size, finishes, location and price. What’s most important to you? Would you rather live in a bigger house or be closer to town? Are you OK spending more money for a renovated house or would you consider buying a cheaper house and then do the renovations yourself? Would you look at living on a busy street to more affordably be in a better suburb with access to better schools?
STEP 2 – PICK YOUR TEAM
Buying a house or unit will likely be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make – but don’t worry, you don’t need to do it alone. You’ll want to start by picking a Great Hervey Bay Real Estate Agent who works exclusively for YOU. You’ll also need a lender to take you through your financing options, and a lawyer to help with the legal aspects of the purchase. There are thousands of professionals out there (of varying quality), so ask your friends and family for recommendations, do your research and don’t be afraid to interview multiple people.
STEP 3 – HOUSE HUNTING ONLINE
You aren’t alone: 98% of Australians search for their home online. While there are endless real estate websites out there, here are the ones you should consider:
Realestate.com.au and domain.com.au are both leading Australian real estate websites for researching the market place. Both websites pull available properties for sale directly from the system that agents use. The internet is usually a day or two behind what’s happening in the market, but either are a great tool to explore what’s for sale and start getting a feel for what’s available.
Custom Listings is another way to get quick and easy access to what’s available is to have a real estate agent e-mail you daily listings of available houses and units that match what you’re looking for.
Tips About Looking for a Hervey Bay Home Online
- Keep an open mind. Photos aren’t always representative of what the house looks like in real life. Our 3D Interactive Open Home Videos are the best option for viewing a home online.
- Don’t always believe the description and read between the lines. ‘Ready to put your decorator touch on it’ often means the property needs a lot of work.
- Remember that the asking price is very different than the sale price. In a hot market like Hervey Bay’s, houses often sell for far more than the listing price. If you want to know actual sale prices, sign up for our monthly Suburb Reports that give you all the inside scoop.
- If you’re shopping for a unit, keep in mind that what’s included in the Body Corp fees as they varies from building to building, so it isn’t easy to compare units. A lower Body Corp fee might still mean more monthly costs
- Take some time to learn how to read agent listing – all those acronyms are guaranteed to confuse you.
STEP 4 – HOUSE HUNTING IN REAL LIFE
This is your opportunity to get a feel for the different Hervey Bay suburbs, refine your wish list, and ask questions. While a wish list seems kind of scientific and is a useful tool in deciding which properties to visit, the truth of the matter is that most people walk into their perfect home and just feel it. Of course, it helps when it satisfies your needs and wants too, but don’t underestimate the power of ‘just knowing’.
After looking at photos or viewing an 3D Interactive Open Home Video; you can visit homes for sale in real life with your real estate agent or by attending an open house. Keep in mind that not all properties will have open houses, so working with a real estate agent you trust the only way to guarantee that you’ll be able to see the houses or units you want to see (and on your schedule!).
Tips About Looking at Hervey Bay Homes in Real Life
- Make a Plan
Hervey Bay is a big coastal city, and if you’re like most people, you have a few target suburbs. Try to focus on one suburb at a time and don’t forget about traffic and the time it’ll take you to park.
- Car Pool
If you’re looking at houses or units with a real estate agent, let them do the driving. Your attention is better focused on the actual suburbs rather than when to turn left. If you’re checking out open houses, try walking or biking to them – Hervey Bay locals love open houses, and street parking can be a drag.
- Wear Slip On/Slip Off Shoes
You’ll be taking your shoes off dozens of times, so save yourself the hassle of lace up shoes. Wearing socks will also save you in the houses.
- Don’t Just Focus on the House or Unit- Focus on the Suburb
Drive around the suburb. Locate the schools, parks and shopping. Take a walk down the street and check out the neighbors. Make a point of going to a cafe, restaurant or pub in the area.
- Vary the Time of Day That You House Hunt
Everything looks better when the sun is shining, but it’s important to get a feel for the house or unit and the suburb during the day AND at night.
- Experience the Bad With the Good
Every suburb has its drawbacks, so make a plan to experience them. Thinking of buying on the esplanade? Make sure to check it out when there are throngs of tourists jamming the streets.
- Take Notes & Photos
It’s surprising how quickly you can forget the first house or unit you saw. And no, you’re probably not allowed to take photos of other people’s houses, but it happens all the time. Just don’t go posting them online.
- See Past the Disgusting & Gross
You’ll probably be surprised to find out how some people live, but don’t let someone’s bad decorating styles, outdated tastes and lack of housekeeping get in the way of finding your perfect Hervey Bay house or unit.
- Don’t Fall in Love with the Seller’s Stuff
This happens all the time and that beautifully staged unit won’t look nearly as great with all your IKEA stuff in it. Try to imagine your furniture and style.
REAL ESTATE AGENTS ROLE IN HOUSE HUNTING
1. To help you match what you want with the greatest opportunity for ROI. They will examine your needs, wants and must-haves to create a picture of your ideal home or investment property.
2. To stay on top of new properties in the best Hervey Bay suburbs as they come on and off the market; sending you daily listings of what’s available and monitor what’s happening, as it happens.
3. To be your house-hunting partner on YOUR schedule. We can take you to see any property that’s for sale and sometimes even ones that aren’t.
4. To save you time. Preview properties on your behalf and screen what is or is not for you, saving you time and hassle. To send you video profiles of what they see out in the field.
WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT SHOPPING FOR A HOUSE OR UNIT?
Informative blog posts on house hunting coming soon